The Battle For The Top – Malmö FF vs Djurgårdens IF

Malmö FF, last year’s winners, met the blue-striped Djurgården with over 20,000 people watching. Djurgården went to Swedbank Stadium in Malmö a few months ago but lost after a last minute goal from Yoshimar Yótun, the game ending 3-2. DIF was prepared for revenge when the teams clashed once again, but this time at their home stadium, Tele2 Arena in Stockholm. It was an intense game, dominated by the blue-striped players. After Haris Radetinac got pulled down in the 13th minute, a penalty was inevitable.

With Magnus Eriksson, the ordinary penalty taker for Djurgården out for the count after his 3rd yellow card in the previous match, it was time for someone new to step up. The bewildered look on DIF’s coach Özkan Melkemichel’s face explained the fans’ surprise when the Dutch player Othman El Kabir walked up to the penalty spot instead of Kevin Walker. He shot hard, but straight at the goalkeeper who saved the ball and the day. The game continued on, with Djurgården getting opportunity after opportunity but never managing to get a goal.

Djurgården has had some trouble finishing their attacks since their main striker Gustav Engvall went back to Bristol City FC after his loan with the Swedish team was over. When the red card came up after MFF’s star player Markus Rosenberg used his elbows as a weapon, a goal felt inevitable. Somehow, Djurgården still failed to finish off the game. In the last 30 seconds of the match, Mattias Svanberg crossed the ball right into the DIF defender Niklas Gunnarsson’s knee and right into the net. The game ended 0-1 in favour of Malmö FF. It is a heavy loss for the fan favorites, who after this loss fall down to third place.

“It is a shot that takes on (Niklas) Gunnarsson and (Andreas) Isaksson can’t save it. The bad luck is laughing us in the face. I think we deserved more than walking out of here with nothing gained. But we can learn from this in the future. There are many matches left and we feel we are a very good team that can push hard and win against all teams,” said Melkemichel after the game.

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